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Old 10-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #1
mcpenner OP
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windy strom?

I'm shopping for a used V-Strom. I am well aware of the differences between the 650 and 1000. I've ridden both but I have a question I was not able to test in my test rides. Which one handles better in a strong gusty cross wind. I live on the Canadian prairie and often get winds strong enough to be a significant road hazard. If there is a difference on this question it just might be the deciding factor for me.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
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I don't think there is any real world difference.

All original generation Stroms wil react better in the wind of the front of the bike is dropped half an inch or so (raising the forks half an inch or so.) This seems to reduce front end lift caused by the flat piece of the fairing over the front wheel. It has other nice benefits as well in terms ofhandling. In addition, you can add a Fork Brace as this will also help.

I have ridden in extreme side winds on my 2006 DL650 with very little effort required on my part. Just realize it is a tall, (relatively) light bike and will want to move around a bit. When you realize that and relax behind the bars then you wil see it isn't an issue.

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Old 10-16-2013, 05:22 PM   #3
mcpenner OP
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I'm riding a klr now so I know how to ride such a machine in the wind but it's more fun if the bike doesn't make me work as much.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
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The extra 40lbs weight on the 1000 may help a bit in cross winds. Normally, I seem to get blown around more on lighter bikes.

Also, the size of your saddlebags & rear case may effect handling on the open road with wind gusts. The narrower the saddle bags and smaller the tail bag . . . The better.

I tipped back my windshields on both my DL650 & DL1K (via spacers on the bottom mounts) which improved handling and buffeting etc.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:00 PM   #5
No False Enthusiasm
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Regardless of the bike you choose, one hint is to open your upwind knee to the apparent wind. This will help stabilize both you and the bike in heavy crosswind conditions.

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Old 10-17-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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Truth is, no bike handles well in a strong (30-40mph) crosswind. I don't know if I would base my bike buying decision on one aspect. If choosing between these two, I would think the DL1K would be better suited to 2-up riding as well as long heavy weighted hauls. Even highway passing. I own a 12 DL650 lowered 3/4 inch front/rear with a fork brace. Both have a positive influence on the handling. I have also easily added 30lbs in accessories but in the high crosswinds, I get pushed around and slow down accordingly. The question should really be, do you think you need/want the extra 30hp and can accept the lower fuel economy (avg 40mpg vs 50mpg). I also would think you could by a DL1K cheaper than a 650.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:50 PM   #7
mcpenner OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No False Enthusiasm View Post
Regardless of the bike you choose, one hint is to open your upwind knee to the apparent wind. This will help stabilize both you and the bike in heavy crosswind conditions.

NFE
Never thought of that, but i expect it would help
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=bleedgrn;22577412]Truth is, no bike handles well in a strong (30-40mph) crosswind.

I know that.

I don't know if I would base my bike buying decision on one aspect.

Neither would I. But for all kinds of reasons I have decided to get a V-strom. I didn't think one would be better then the other in a cross wind, but if there is a difference it would factor in to my decision. but you never know till you ask.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:44 AM   #9
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little things add up in this equation.
some tires are to be avoided if you want stability in strong crosswinds.
definitely spend the money for the madstad windshield mounts. that's 50% of the battle right there, and learn to get by with the stock shield or a small aftermarket one. I preferred the givi but its big and will be trouble in high wind.
Then, the splash dam that was mentioned earlier: remove it. easily done and you will not get that "wing" effect in nosey wind.
also a little thing but matters: stash away the stock mirrors and get something streamlined like the Duke mirrors or just some offroad capable round, symmetrical ones and learn to use them. you don't need boat oars for visibility

happy hunting

[QUOTE=mcpenner;22579086]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleedgrn View Post
Truth is, no bike handles well in a strong (30-40mph) crosswind.

I know that.

I don't know if I would base my bike buying decision on one aspect.

Neither would I. But for all kinds of reasons I have decided to get a V-strom. I didn't think one would be better then the other in a cross wind, but if there is a difference it would factor in to my decision. but you never know till you ask.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:55 AM   #10
No False Enthusiasm
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+1 on a fork brace... mine is from Richland Rick... easy to install... instant results.

NFE
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:12 PM   #11
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A fork brace and riding loose are the primary points. The knee out thing simply prevents the rider from clamping the bike between the knees, allowing it to move independently of the body. That allows quick counter reactions to wind induced lean and prevents wind on the body from adding to the input. A light grip on the bars to make small countersteering inputs easily and prevent wind on the body from being transferred to the bars is also important. People with problem riding in windy conditions hold the bike in a death grip and fight the wind. People who don't have problems keep a light touch and dance in the wind. The bike will change lean angles into the wind but not lanes.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
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I have both a 04 and a 2012 DL650

I've not raised the forks (or lowered the front) and no fork brace on either bike.

For me I have no serious issues with riding in the wind. The 04 does have a Madstad with a stock screen, the 12 just has the stock screen
both screens are tilted out an additional 3/4 of an inch at the bottom mount.
And both bikes have the knuckle guards and have been converted to round style mirrors.
Top boxes on both bikes side bags on the 04 sometimes.

Both bikes have issues with loud wind noise and the 2012 makes more noise in front 3/4 headwind situations.
Which is about the only thing riding in the wind that has come up
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
A fork brace and riding loose are the primary points...A light grip on the bars to make small countersteering inputs easily and prevent wind on the body from being transferred to the bars is also important. People with problem riding in windy conditions hold the bike in a death grip and fight the wind. People who don't have problems keep a light touch and dance in the wind. The bike will change lean angles into the wind but not lanes.
Well said. I also tend to stay loose in a variable side wind. I ride over a very high bridge 2 mile span which catches 40+mph wind fairly often. Staying loose and slowing down makes negotiating this area tolerable. Many of my fellow riders think I'm crazy for riding when the weather is windy, but really applying what Greywolf stated makes a big difference. I'm sure you will choose wisely in you're bike buying since neither is a bad decision.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #14
mcpenner OP
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Thanks for the pointers, but there is no need to make this into yet another "how to ride a strom in the wind" thread. I've read those. I ride a KLR which is much worse by all accounts and I'm fine with it. I only thought if one strom was better then the other in cross winds it would be one factor to consider. It sounds like there is not a big enough difference that it should influence my choice. thanks all
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:34 PM   #15
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I have a 2013 DL650 Adv model with the factory hard bags & trunk and the rest of the farkles that come with the bike.

I also live in Southern Alberta, so wind is always going to be there. I came from a Harley and before that a BMW. As far as side winds go the strom is better than the BMW ( R1100r ) was but not as good as the Harley.

The DL650 is not top heavy. I sat on both bikes before I bought the 650 and found that the 1000 was noticeably more top heavy, even though it was only 50 lbs difference in the weight. The 650 ( 2013 adv model ) has very good wind management with respect to buffeting and you shouldn't have to buy an aftermarket screen.

I would base my buying decision on what your needs are as there won't be any appreciable difference between the two bikes, with respect to side winds. I've owned many bikes and about the only bike that was really good in strong ( 50 mph + crosswinds ) was the Harley Heritage Softail. It weighted around 750 lbs and the center of gravity was very low.

Anything taller than a cruiser is going to be affected by crosswinds, that's just the way it is.
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